The cost for some vital records could be going up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The cost for some vital records could be going up

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  The fees for two vital records likely will go up again soon for the second time this year.

The Georgia Department of Community Health will vote this week whether to follow the recommendation of state lawmakers and raise the rates for certified birth and death certificates from $15 to $25 a piece.

As many as 80 people a day stream through the Probate Court doors in search of birth and death certificates. Now the cost for that copy could go up again for the second time in seven months.

"We're getting to the season where people are preparing to register their kids for school and for extra curricular sports, camps, people need birth certificates all the time," said Probate Court Judge Nancy Stephenson.

Walter Berry's wife Kathleen died last year. He's still working to finish the paperwork.

"I needed two," said Berry.

Glad to have bought them now before the price increases.

"They sort of have a Monopoly on it because you've got to get it from them whatever it costs," said Berry. Tammie Pickett agrees.

"I think that's too much, It's just a piece of paper, I mean it's a legal document don't misunderstand me but," said Pickett.

Judge Nancy Stephenson has heard the complaints since prices jumped from ten dollars to fifteen in January.

"I have heard about it every day since January first and people are not happy. It's a tax that they don't have any input into because it's not something the legislature does," said Stephenson.

While the legislative session recommended the fee be raised, the action will come from the Department of Community Health Board, and there's still time before Thursday to let them know how you feel.

If you want to write to the Department of Community Health and express your concern over these fees you can at www.dch.gerogia.gov.

The Department of Community Health Board meets Thursday at 10:30 in Atlanta. The last time fees increased this dramatically was in 1993 when fees jumped from three dollars to ten dollars.


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